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Breaking news from Wisconsin, Feb 19, 2011

50,000 people protesting in Wisconsin. Jesse Jackson does his typical self promoting Dem cameo. Yes, i know the Dems grew a backbone in Wisconsin, but if this is used to promote their selling us off to corporate asses like the Koch brothers who support Scott Walker... I'll pass on the jackass party right now.  http://prwatch.org/news/2011/02/9944/live-reporting-wisconsin-protests
Live Reporting from the Wisconsin Protests
Submitted by Page Metcalf on February 19, 2011 - 4:30pm
NewsactivismdemocracyeconomyReal Economy Project

Tens of thousands of Wisconsin residents are flooding the State Capitol in Madison in protest of Governor Walker's proposed budget "repair" bill that would end 50 years of collective bargaining for Wisconsin workers. CMD reporters will be out providing live coverage of these historic events. Votes are scheduled for Thursday, February 17 and Friday, February 18. Send your stories, photos and videos to us at: PR Watch Editor!

2:19 p.m. - Submitted by Steve Horn:

2:05 p.m. - Submitted by Steve Horn:

1:30 p.m. - Steve Horn reports that the Tea Party rally is barely 1/10th of the size of other rally groups.

Photo submitted by Katie Zaman in Madison, WI.

1:28 p.m. - John Nichols reports on Jesse Jackson's speech from Friday February 18. Read the full piece here:  link to www.thenation.com

"This is a Martin Luther King moment!"

So declared the Rev. Jesse Jackson,
as he finished addressing a crowd of more than 40,000 at that had
filled the grounds of Wisconsin's state Capitol. A few minutes later ,
he would enter the Capitol and address a crowd estimated at 8,000, which
filled what has been called America's most beautiful government
building to capacity.

The Capitol was never more beautiful than on Friday night.

1:22 p.m. - Erica Pelzek reports sign spotted: Why can't we be friends with benefits?

1:21 p.m. - Erica Pelzek reports that ralliers around the square chant "Don't drink the tea!"

1:20 p.m. - Steve Horn reports that Vicki McKenna is now speaking amidst chants of "Stand with Scott! Pass the bill!"

1:14 p.m. - Steve Horn reports that Tea Party ralliers are chanting "Thank you Scott!"

1:12 p.m. - Steve Horn reports that the head of Fire Feingold PAC from Racine is now speaking. "Tea stands for Tax Enough Already and Walker gets this!"

1:06 p.m. - Steve Horn reports that Meg Allison of the Wausau Tea Party is now speaking. "Rick Santelli was my catalyst for 2009" she says.

1:03 p.m. - Erica Pelzek reports that Walker supporters are chanting "Pass the budget!"

1:00 p.m. - Steve Horn reports that Kim Simac of Northwoods Patriots is now speaking.

12:55 p.m. - Erica Pelzek reports a Tea Party sign spotted: We work on weekdays

12:54 p.m. - Steve Horn reports that Dave Westlake reads a Sarah Palin letter from her FaceBook fan page.

12:48 p.m. - Erica Pelzek reports a sign spotted: This is a Civis Lesson

12:47 p.m. - Brendan Fischer reports that a mix of chants arise from the crowds: Kill the Bill, Pass the Bill, Si Se Peude

12:37 p.m. - Ben Manski reports on the efforts of protesters participating in the Madison, WI rallies.

This week's protests are a revolt in defense of the right of public employees to self-organize. But not all the protesters here are public sector workers, or their family members. Many have recognized the role of college and high school students in initiating and energizing these protests. But few journalists have yet noted the efforts of Hmong, African American, Latino, and other activists of color to deepen and
broaden the protests.

Monica Adams of the Madison-based community justice organization, Freedom, Inc., is one activist who has tried to add some color to the standard portrayal of this uprising. In an unpublished submission to
the Wisconsin State Journal, earlier this week, she wrote that:

"Let's be clear: Gov. Walker has been after all of us from day one and not just on the union issue. The Republican legislature's drafts of Arizona-style anti-immigrant bills threatens immigrants and would
make it more likely than ever that people of color would face discrimination while driving. Unemployed workers took it on the chin when Gov. Walker vetoed high rail jobs. And Gov. Walker's threat to
cut BadgerCare, FoodShare, and other life-saving services for millions of Wisconsinites imperils the health and welfare of our residents."

"Gov. Walker's mistake is the orchestrated political attack on all of us. Such an attack requires an orchestrated response. Labor unions must work to unite their struggle for their members with the struggle of the unemployed, threatened communities of color and abandoned low-income communities in Wisconsin."

I spoke with Sangita Nayak, communications director for Freedom, Inc., just now. She informed me that the organization has succeeded in mobilizing scores of southeast Asian and African American youth to

participate in the protests. And she expressed frustration that, as of yet, this solidarity has not been noticed. As one African American MATC student told Sarah Manski yesterday, "protesting while Black" is

often a risky business.

For both students and for youth of color, the risks they have taken this past week may pay off next week, when Governor Walker begins to release the details of his next full biennual budget proposal. Will

public sector unions, already mobilized and in the fight of their lives, come to the aid of students facing 26% tuition hikes? Or unemployed youth of color facing drastic cuts to life-sustaining services? After this week, more of them may.

And that's what the organizers at Freedom, Inc. are counting on -- the broadening of the uprising to unite all the poor and working people of Wisconsin. As Nayak put it to me on the phone just now, "there are more young people, youth activists, coming out here every day, and we need to keep this movement growing."

12:08 p.m. - Erica Pelzek reports that the Tea Party rally is pitiful in comparison to pro-rights groups.

11:48 a.m. - Photo submitted by Katie Zaman in Madison, WI

11:44 a.m. - Walker supporters begin to march around the Capitol.

11:34 a.m. - Photo submitted by Katie Zaman in Madison, WI

11:21 a.m. - Brendan Fischer reports that the AFSCME parade is the biggest he has seen, with a large United Auto Worker (UAW) presence. UAW representatives have traveled from Flint, MI to participate in the rallies.

Square Dance

11:17 a.m. - Brendan Fischer reports that Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" seems to be the theme song for the Madison rallies.

11:16 a.m. - Mary Bottari sends these photos from the Wisconsin rallies.

The above photo was taken from a rally on the evening of Friday February 18.

Right wing radio has been using ominous terms to describe the protesters. Here is the littlest dangerous protester Magnolia Stryker and her mother Martha. Magnolia is wearing an "I Voted" sticker on her hat.

In the background Reverend Jesse Jackson addresses a crowd of over 40,000 explaining, "When we fight, we win!"

11:15 a.m. - Brendan Fischer reports that the band Clovis Mann is taking the stage as a huge AFSCME parade around the Square kicks off.

11:11 a.m. - From Erica Pelzek: Sign spotted: Walker steeps our $ - Not my cuppa tea!

11:07 a.m. - Brendan Fischer reports that the Director of Voces de la Frontera, an immigrant rights organization, says that many of the immigrants to the U.S. are fleeing countries that suffer union repression in search of better life. "But now, Walker is trying to make Wisconsin into a third world country. Engaging in class warfare. Your fight is our fight," she says.

11:05 a.m. Industrial Workers of the World from as far away as Nebraska are in attendance at the Madison, WI rally to show their support to Wisconsin workers.

11:03 a.m. - Sign spotted: Middle class America, do you get it now? Stop the Republicans!"

10:57 a.m. - Brendan Fischer reports that Professor Stephen Baumann says "My teaching assistants make for robust education and make the University of Wisconsin great. Taking away their collective bargaining rights will destroy the quality of education."

10:52 a.m. - Bredan Fischer quotes the speaker: "The safety of nurses and conditions in hospitals depends on their right to organize and negotiate."

10:51 a.m. - Brendan Fischer: Signs spotted "Walker is a Koch head" and "My son is fighting for our freedom, Walker is trying to take it away"

10:36 a.m. - Signs spotted: Remember, this is a peaceful protest.

10:35 a.m. - The rally kicks off with a bike parade around the Capitol.

10:22 a.m. - Unions have organized peace keeping teams to direct traffic and prevent any incidents. Marshalls are stationed around the Capitol Square.

Saturday February 19, 2011 Three Rallies Today
Make sure you pick the right rally for you and do not falsely inflate the numbers for groups you do not support.

1) AFSCME Rally at 10:30am

2) Tea Party/Koch Brothers Rally at 12:00pm

2) WEAC Rally at 4:30pm

Not Your Cup of Tea?
Rep. Governor Scott Walker has had a hard time finding anyone in the state that supports his radical plan to do away with collective bargaining rights. So he is bringing in an array of national right wing leaders to noon rally. The rally is planned by the Koch brothers- funded Americans for Prosperity, the Sam Adams Alliance-funded American Majority, and several Wisconsin Tea Party groups. (corner of Main, S. Carroll & Hamilton).

Scheduled to appear are:

Andrew Breitbart, right-wing superstar and founder of Big Government
Tim Phillips, president of Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity
Jim Hoft of the "Gateway Pundit" blog (who recently blamed CBS reporter Lara Logan for her sexual assault in Egypt)
Ned Ryun, President of American Majority
Herman Cain, Tea Partier and 2012 presidential candidate (who has
hired as his campaign director Mark Block, former director of Wisconsin
Americans for Prosperity investigated for
repeat fair election law violations)
Vicki McKenna, talk radio host for Madison's WISN and WIBA
News Roundup from Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Journal, Nation's eyes turn to Wisconsin amid struggle over collective bargaining: This is a coordinated effort by the Republican Party to destroy the labor movement in this country," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, in town Friday for the largest day of rallies, estimated by Madison police at 35,000 to 40,000 people. "If Wisconsin passes this, there are at least another 12 to 15 states that will try it." Wisconsin Education Association Council President Mary Bell and Wisconsin State Employees Union Executive Director Marty Beil have both said the state's unions are willing to consider the governor's changes to their pension and benefits plans. But the unions remain dead set against his bid to end most collective bargaining rights.

Capital Times, Tea Party activists form exploratory committees to recall state senators: "It's embarrassing for the state of Wisconsin to know that half of our senators have gone AWOL," says Kim Simac, a small business owner in Eagle River who heads the Northwoods Patriots, a Tea Party group.

Capital Times Op-Ed from Robert Craig, WI Citizen Action, recaps the National guard debate: "At his Feb. 11 press conference itself, Walker made extremely broad statements, which can be fairly construed as thinly veiled threats to use the National Guard against workers exercising their constitutional right to protest government actions they believe are unjust. Walker did not once mention using the National Guard to staff prisons, and used broad and sweeping language when referring to what they could be called to do."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Protests at Capitol Keep Growing: The protests that have swept the Capitol this week have stunned even longtime legislators for both their breadth and intensity. "This is the biggest demonstration I've ever seen," said state Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills).

Progressive Magazine Editor Matt Rothschild sums up where we are in a one minute Radio Editorial. Madison's own Progressive Magazine recently celebrated its 100 birthday. Click [ https://www.progressive.org/mp3/18feb11.mp3 here] to listen.